Hive is a terrible investment for new members. Yes, my title was clickbaity. Hive is neither rewarding nor exciting when you are starting out. Unless you start with a large stake, you won't earn much in rewards for your work. Most of us were reluctant to plunk down good money on a platform that we aren't sure is worthwhile. Even if you get upvotes, they typically don't amount to very much.
Another challenge for newcomers is that it is very difficult to have your content discovered. Once you have been around a while, you will have made some acquaintances and have followers who will see your posts and maybe even upvote them. However, as a new member, you're like a tree falling in the forest with nobody there to hear it. New members are better off finding a tribe for their posts as there are usually fewer people against whom to compete for attention. Examples of tribes are https://leofinance.io, https://palnet.io, https://stemgeeks.net, https://neoxian.city, https://d.buzz, and many more.
New Hivers also rely on Good Samaritans to find their introductory post and give them a vote and some encouragement. After that initial post, crickets.
Even more experienced members have a difficult time. I have learned that I can earn rewards by posting often. However, if I go by hourly rate, it doesn't pay well. Going by percentage, posting frequently and consistently can yield good returns. If I were starting off, this wouldn't be exciting either.
I struggle with curation. My problem is that I like to read the posts before voting on them. This totally misses the 5 minute window for voting to get maximum rewards. New Hive members may not know that they can join curation trails like at https://hive.vote. I'm iffy on curation trails. I have used them. But, I have no way of knowing if the posts that got upvoted were good or not. I feel like a fraud. New members may not have the same hangup.
As a new member, even leasing out Hive (https://hive.dlease.io) is not that good. This is because 15% of 100 HP isn't a lot of HP over the term of the lease. If you can get a few good upvotes, you could easily earn 15 HP in a shorter period than leasing for a year. Big if. As a new member you still don't have an audience.
I didn't realize until recently that most of my account growth was the result of buying Hive rather than through posting and curation. I could have chosen to be salty about it. But, it made me realize that I have more power if I simply keep buying hive consistently. Therefore, https://blocktrades.us is my best ally for growing my account with regular investments.
New members should not hold back on powering up with purchased Hive. New members should buy Hive Power as often as possible while also posting and curating.
Once a new member has a large enough account, let's say about 2000 HP, they can start diversifying with a lease or two. A lease of 500 to 1000 HP can yield regular daily income to supplement the posting, voting, and buys.
As new members, we start off timidly when in reality we should start off aggressively investing and then tapering off once the account has reached a level with a comfortable voting power. Starting off timidly leaves us working hard and becoming discouraged with our lack of progress.
Think about it this way.
10% of $100 is $10, right? It's good for buying lunch.
10% of $1,000 is $100. That will get you a family dinner at a restaurant.
10% of $10,000 is $1,000. Now this starts to change your life.
So, if you're starting off with 10 HP, even a 13% curation rate isn't going to make a significant impact. 100 HP won't make much of a difference to your earnings. However, once you reach 1000 HP, it's still hard work to get 13%; but, you are happier with the rewards. So, when we are starting out, it is important to get to that level where we are happy with the rewards for our effort. The best way to get there is to invest into buying as much Hive Power as we can afford early on. Don't spin your wheels when you start.
This level of satisfaction will be different for everybody. Many Hivers are setting Power Up goals. For example, my previous goal was 2000 HP, which was easy to achieve once I decided to reach for it. My next goal is 5000 HP, which I am more than halfway to reaching. They say that you only control the things that you can measure. Hive Power is a great metric for operating your Hive account.
New Hivers will stumble on the occasional member with 10,000 HP, 50,000 HP, 100,000 HP, or more. You can be sure that they did not get there by blogging alone. There is nothing stopping somebody from plunking down $100,000 and becoming an instant Whale on Hive. Those who can afford it, aren't shy about skipping ahead of the line. Hive lets you buy your way to influence. I mistakenly did not realize this at first.
Think about this. What if you had a slow year and only got 8% curation rewards on 100,000 HP. That's 8,000 HP. The bigger your account, the bigger the rewards.
It is the combination of investing time AND money that can yield good rewards from Hive. We don't tell new Hivers this. We let them think that all they have to do is curate and post. That's true if they want to work for peanuts for a few years. We should encourage new Hivers to invest in their accounts and power up to a comfortable level as soon as they can afford it.